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Oita - A city of spa resorts

Oita City lies at the eastern edge of Kyushu and at the southern end of Beppu Bay. Two kilometres (1.2mi) south of the bay and seaport is the city's main train station JR Oita, where you can catch buses to most tourist destinations. The downtown shopping area, Chuomachi, just north of JR Oita station is small enough to get around on foot. While Oita is predominantly a car city and quite spread out, most areas of interest are within walking distance of the main station. On the western end of the city is Mt Takasaki-yama, while the Oita-gawa River bounds the central district to the east. The Big Eye stadium is 7km (4mi) southeast of the city. Just a short (10km/6mi) jaunt north of Oita, along Beppu Bay, is the livelier tourist spa town of Beppu.

Getting There and Away
Oita international airport has direct flights to and from Seoul (one hour 35 minutes). The airport also links up with other major Japanese cities (Tokyo, one hour 30 minutes; Osaka/Kobe, 55 minutes). For rail enthusiasts, there's a scenic train route from JR Oita station to Kitakyushu (JR Kokura station) where the Sanyo shinkansen (bullet train) connects with JR Osaka station; total journey time is just less than five hours. A ferry service also links Oita with Kobe (12 hours) and Osaka (14 hours). Long-distance buses provide a cheaper option and car-hire makes a lot of sense - Kyushu is one of the few parts of Japan where there is enough open space to make driving a pleasure.

oita map
click for full size
Getting Around
Oita international airport is 50km (31mi) from the city and there are relatively few means of getting into either Oita or Beppu. The fastest, most convenient and most expensive service is the hovercraft (US$20), which arrives into Oita port in 25 minutes. The more sedate, but cheaper (US$12) airport shuttle (Airliner) bus takes an hour and also stops in Beppu. A bus shuttle operates between the ferry terminal and downtown Oita or JR Oita station (for those transferring to Beppu) at a flat rate of about US$1.20. The regular train service (US$2) between JR Oita and JR Beppu takes 12 to 15 minutes.

Local buses travel the roads in and between Beppu and Oita City - some have route numbers displayed, some don't. The best way to avoid confusion is to get the local transport guide listing routes, timetables and fares from Oita or Beppu train station. Major bus companies are Kamenoi (tel 097-725 3220), Oita Kotsu (tel 097-536 3655) and Oita Bus (tel 097-536 3371). Daily travel passes are available from the information counters at JR Oita and Beppu train stations. The types of passes range from daily local travel to two days' extended travel throughout the prefecture. Tours can also be booked at the train stations.

A good pair of walking shoes are essential if you want to explore the busier parts of Oita's downtown area and entertainment district. Taxis are a good, albeit pricey, way of getting around Oita quickly, but finding a driver who can speak English or understand anything other than kanji (Japanese characters) is a problem. Hiring a car is an easy way of getting around Oita and greater Kyushu.

Getting To And From The Stadium
The Big Eye stadium is only 7km (4.3mi) southwest of Oita City centre, but there is no rail connection to the venue. Private vehicle access will be prohibited for the World Cup fixtures - there is a lack of parking and the area around the stadium will be closed off. Instead, shuttle buses from JR Beppu and JR Oita stations, and from bus stops on the main coastal highway route will take fans to the stadium. This strategy was successful during the trial match played to open the stadium in 2001. If you're lucky enough to get a taxi there is usually a flat fare of US$20 to the football ground.

Stadium Information
Oita Stadium Big Eye
Yokoo, Matsuoka,
Oita City, Oita
March 2001
Oita was once a fortified town, and remnants of this past can be seen in Usuki City, less than an hour by car from Oita City. Usuki is home to splendid samurai residences and outstanding examples of Japanese stone Buddhas. Oita is well known for its hot springs, the most famous of which are Yufuin Onsen and Beppu Onsen. Close to Korea, Oita has forged strong ties with the co-host country.
Located 7 km from the centre of Oita City / 15 min. approximately from JR Oita Station by shuttle bus service.
Web site (English):
Venues & Stadia
Twenty cities are preparing for next year's football extravaganza. Take a tour of the Korean and Japanese cities that will host the games.